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2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 235 E/215

For more details on the forms of State aid compatible with the common market, the attention of the
Honourable Member is drawn to the Guidelines referred to above. Structural assistance available under
FIFG to address the problems highlighted by the rise in fuel prices includes, for example, aid for
decommissioning fishing vessels, aid for temporary cessation of fishing or pilot projects for the reduction
of fuel consumption in fishing operations.

As indicated in section 1.2. of the Guidelines, State aid ‘which is granted without imposing any obligation
on the part of recipients and which is intended to improve the situation of undertakings and increase their
business liquidity … is, as operating aid, incompatible with the common market’.

(1) OJ C 100, 27.3.1997.

(2) OJ C 19, 20.1.2001.
(3) OJ L 337, 30.12.1999.

(2001/C 235 E/251) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0489/01

by Daniel Hannan (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(22 February 2001)

Subject: Sport funding

Does the European Ryder Cup team receive funding from the European Community?

If so,

 how much,

 from which item, and

 what conditions are attached with regard to publicising the European Communities?

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

(11 April 2001)

In the past, the European Ryder Cup team has received Community funding as part of communication
measures. However, in 1998 the Commission decided to end specific funding for sport, and in particular
for the Eurathlon programme, in application of principles established by the Court of Justice (1).

Since then, the European Ryder Cup team has received no more Community funding.

(1) Case C-106/96. Judgment of the CJEC of 12 May 1998.

(2001/C 235 E/252) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0495/01

by Hanja Maij-Weggen (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(22 February 2001)

Subject: Turkey

Is the Commission prepared to ask the Turkish Government to explain the three-year prison sentence
imposed on Yousef Akbulut, a priest from Diyarbakir, who told journalists that members of the Syrian
Orthodox Church suffered genocide around 1915?
C 235 E/216 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 21.8.2001

Does the Commission know, and can the Commission confirm, that 1,5 million Christians were killed in
Turkey in mid-1915, including a large number of Syrian Orthodox Christians?

Is the Commission aware that in the past thirty years almost all of the Syrian Orthodox community have
fled or emigrated from Turkey, and are now scattered abroad, above all in Europe and the US?

Is the Commission aware that there are more than 10 000 Syrian Orthodox Christians from Turkey living
in the Netherlands, and that these naturalised citizens are extremely concerned about the repression of the
small group of Syrian Orthodox citizens still living in Turkey?

What are the consequences of the way in which the Turkish Government deals with small Christian
minorities against the background of Turkey’s being an applicant for accession to the European Union?

Answer given by Mr Verheugen on behalf of the Commission

(3 April 2001)

The case of Father Abkulut to which the Honourable Member refers is under consideration in the
Diyarbakir State Security Court. A third hearing will take place on 5 April 2001. No verdict has yet been
given in this case.

The Commission, together with the Union Presidency and other members of the international community,
is monitoring closely developments in this case, and will continue to do so. Such public concern has had
positive effects, in that Father Abkulut has not been subjected to preventive detention during the legal

The Commission is aware of the situation of the Syrian Orthodox Christians and other Christian
communities in Turkey. It has addressed this issue in the Regular Report 2000 (1) on Turkey’s progress
towards accession. It is also taken up in the Accession Partnership with Turkey. In this document the
Commission asks Turkey to ratify the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
This would be a significant step forward since Article 27 of this Covenant affirms the need to respect
cultural, religious and linguistic rights.

The Commission considers that the historical events, to which the Honourable Member refers, should be
the subject of independent research, based on full access to relevant sources.

(1) COM(2000) 713 final.

(2001/C 235 E/253) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0499/01

by Markus Ferber (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(22 February 2001)

Subject: Cooperation between the European Commission and the Communist Party of Bohemia and
Moravia (CPBM)

Unlike all other Communist parties in Eastern Europe, the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia not
only kept its name but is said not to have changed its policies nor to have distanced itself from its past as
the party of the Dictatorship. For this reason, the Czech President, the Czech Government, the democratic
opposition in Prague and the diplomatic corps avoid all formal contact with the CPBM.

Is it true that the Commission has forged contacts with the CPBM and that representatives of its delegation
attended the Party Conference in May 2000 and visited Party headquarters in December 2000? These
meetings, which were brought to light by the press, have given rise to significant political displeasure in
the Czech Republic. According to press reports, the Deputy Head of the Delegation, Counsellor Dreyer,
noted that there was much ‘common ground’.